Could somebody post some pictures of the transmission or chassis pictures from a restoration? I see pictures of the whole car but I'm curious about what is under there making it go. Some K pictures would also be nice.
Here are members photos of parts and pieces
Early Ford Registry
The EFR site under "transmissions" doesn't show many transmission only pics. If you go to the individual member photos you will be able to find detailed pics, after sorting through pics.
Below are pics of our Model N transmission as it was being restored, and a Ford N/R (S is the same) cutaway drawing:
Our K Roadster transmission, and Ford drawing:
Dean Yoder weighed our K transmission, 85 lbs. he also weighed a T transmission, at 34 lbs., for a size/weight comparison.
Interestingly, (and conveniently) the Model K transmission can be lifted up from the car without removing or moving the motor or drivetrain.
I should have added, the Model K, like the later 1926-27 Improved Ford, had a wider brake band than low and reverse.
What looks funny to me is, how is it lubed? Surely it doesn't run dry but I can figure out how the oil stays in.
As with other planetaries of the day, there are filler plugs to add lube. As long as you are in high, the transmission is for the most part locked up, and leaks less. In neutral, it leaks more. The drums (where the bands contact) act as sumps and do hold grease (heavy oil) to some extent.
As long as you run in high, no planetary gears are turning, and the entire transmission is revolving, and lube is unecessary. This was definitely a weakness, as the trans required frequent lube, and I suspect were often neglected and failed as a result.
Rob, on the dash, is that an old time light switch or a real K part?
I would say that is the switch on the coil box Clayton. Much like on an early Model T.
I understand it now. The lube was what puzzled me. I wish someone close had one I could look at. Somehow all the old cars are up north.
There are two slotted brass plugs on an NRS transmission that allow you to add grease to the unit. These slotted plugs are identical to the slotted brass plug used on later aluminum hub Model T fan hubs.
The triple gears in these early Ford transmissions are all inside the slow speed drum in the middle of the transmission. There is one grease plug on the outside of this drum that allows grease to be put in.
The clutch assembly on an NRS transmission is in a separate section at the back of the transmission. This is also where the second slotted brass plug is located. Removing this plug allows the owner to insert grease into the clutch housing.
The Ford NRS owner's manual states that the transmission should be lubricated regularly with "Albany" grease. I am not sure exactly what properties Albany grease had that made it well suited for lubricating NRS transmissions, but I was told by a friend who has run his Model S for many, many years, that a grease composed of half 600W/half STP works well. That is what I have been using with my Model N.
Getting the grease into the transmission requires the use of grease suction-type gun with a tip like that on an regular Ford oil can. I unscrew the back of the grease gun with the plunger handle, pour in the grease mixture, then replace the back of the gun, and use the handle to force it into the transmission through the slotted grease plugs mentioned above. If you try to put grease into the transmission by using a small funnel to pour the grease into, you will lose patience waiting for this to occur before you have enough grease in the transmission to do any good.
I haven't found any good information on what the grease level in the transmission should be, but I usually run about two cups in the slow speed drum housing, and about a cup in the clutch housing.
NRS transmissions leak grease in large quantities. They also tend to run a little warm. I honestly think they were suppose to operate this way. The grease comes out from the two sides of the low speed drum and lubricates the fiber discs on either side. Then it continues to leak past the discs and onto the transmission bands, providing some degree of lubrication there. The rest either flies off the transmission and up onto the bottom of the floor boards, or drops down onto the "Drip Pan" that was a part of all NRS Fords. Drip is the operative word in "Drip Pan". One owner reported to me that when he first got his Model S runabout and lifted the floor boards, there was a semi-circular encrustation under the boards made of old, dried grease that had been thrown out of the transmission. I took the step of adding a home made aluminum shield that covers the transmission and keeps the grease from flying up under the floor boards.
NRS Fords require constant lubrication. The entire engine and transmission are based on a total loss lubrication system. The oil in the engine leaks out past the push rods, tends to come out through the breather pipe, and past the front, rear crankshaft, and camshaft bearings. You have to watch it carefully, and lubricate after every run. I suspect that the cause of death of many NRS cars was lack of lubrication, especially to the transmission.
In order to keep my Model N in good condition, I usually figure at least one hour of maintenance time for every hour of running time. Compared to an NRS Ford, a Model T is a low maintenance automobile.
I should have asked this question a long time ago since I've been wondering about it. That sounds like a lot of lube. I don't guess I'll ever own one but that might be good. I'm a procrastinator and would probably run it out of oil since I'd always be going to do it the next time. Thanks to all for the info.